EC Harris has secured the largest-ever retail deal in Romania to build four best in class shopping centers worth more than €300 million. The appointment by Atrium Centers will see the international built asset consultant provide project and cost management, and technical supervision services from its office in Bucharest to develop much needed retail centers in the second tier cities of Arad, Baia Mare, Cluj, and Satu Mare in Transylvania.
The centers, which will also contain a mixture of leisure development, office space and hotel accommodation, will cover almost 300,000 m² and are due to be completed in 2009.
Matthew Cutts, a partner of EC Harris, said: "Eastern Europe, and Romania in particular, is a key target for retailers and highly attractive for investors at present.
"International retailers are increasingly looking to capitalise on the opportunities presented in these emerging markets as the domestic and Western European market becomes increasingly saturated.
"The success for retailers, such as Tesco and Carrefour, in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, suggests that there is real potential in the new territories of Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia.
"If one is to look at Eastern Europe, including Russia, as a whole then the numbers for retailers are very strong, particularly when you consider that the size of the region's grocery market."
The four centers are Atrium's first development projects in Romania, although additional projects are planned.
Atrium Centers is a new brand of the British investment and financial services group Dawnay, Day, aiming to develop a chain of new generation shopping and entertainment centres in Romania and other neighbouring countries.
Dawnay, Day PanTerra Limited is a part of the Dawnay, Day Group which has over 20 years of property investment experience and manages a diversified commercial property portfolio in Europe. The developments are to be undertaken in conjunction with Michael Israeli, Managing Partner of Atrium Centers. Dawnay Day Carpathian is the majority shareholder in Atrium Centers with Dawnay Day PanTerra as the fund manager
Source: EC Harris